Researchers in Europe have developed a robot that can fly and walk, by rotating wing segments. Named after one of the project’s lead researchers, Ludovic Daler, the Deployable Air Land Exploration Robot (DALER) features a unique design inspired by vampire bats.
Triangular segments on the outer edge of the robot’s wings twist, end over end, slowly moving the robot forward, even in a cluttered space. While flying, these wingtips control the batbot’s altitude.
According to a paper about DALER published recently in Bioinspiration & Biomimetics, the “wings’ adaptive morphology allows the robot to modify the shape of its body in order to increase its efficiency during terrestrial locomotion. Furthermore, aerial and terrestrial capabilities are powered by a single locomotor apparatus, therefore it reduces the total complexity and weight of this multi-modal robot.”
The robot’s adaptive morphology also makes it quite robust. The wings simply fold upon impact.